Edmontonians take ice bucket challenge for ALS

Edmontonians are getting in on a viral social media challenge that involves dumping a bucket of ice cold water on your head.

Called ‘the ice bucket challenge,’ the movement aims to spread awareness about ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

The idea came from Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. Frates then teamed up with ALS patient Pat Quinn to launch the viral campaign in the United States.

When an individual completes the challenge, they get to tag in friends, strangers or celebrities to douse themselves in the icy water within 24 hours. Anyone who refuses once challenged is asked to donate $100 to ALS research.

Last week, Oilers captain Andrew Ference was challenged to take part by Rich Peverley on the Dallas Stars. Ference then in turn challenged the members of his November Project workout squad to go for the dunk.

November Project member Vincenza Robbins wasted no time in accepting Ference's icy challenge.

"I think it's always important to raise awareness for causes that aren't too commonly known," she said. "I had to research it myself. Just takes a few minutes out of your day, feels pretty awesome [but] kind of cold," she laughed. 

In the States, the campaign has raised more than $1 million in the past week alone.

And while Canada hasn't seen the same kind of spike, BrandeeFossen with ALS Alberta says the viral bucket challenge is successfully spreading word about the disease locally.

"It's not one of the well known diseases. There's currently 3,000 people living in Canada with ALS," Fossen said.

And people keep passing the bucket. On Monday, four top Western hockey league draft picks in Edmonton for a hockey camp run by NHL coach Perry Pearn did their part.

Clad in their hockey gear and skates, Tyler Benson, Tyson Jost, Sam Steel and Nolan Volcan each dumped a bucket full of icy water on their heads.

For Pearn, who will soon be joining the coaching staff for the Vancouver Canucks, the challenge also hits at a personal level.

"My best friend died of ALS so it's kind of something that's near and dear to me. I'm excited that hockey and hockey players have taken it on."

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